'X Factor' U.K. Technical Glitch Leads to Screen Blackout
LONDON -- The U.K. version of the Simon Cowell-produced X Factor hit the headlines here as the sound of apologies almost drowned out the singing.
ITV, the show's commercial broadcaster, apologized to viewers after technical problems caused a screen blackout in certain parts of England, leaving viewers of Sunday night's The X Factor results show unaware of who had exited.
ITV opted to use its Twitter feed to let viewers know what was happening Sunday, as the acts learned who was staying and who had the fewest votes from the public, heralding an exit.
The broadcaster @itv tweeted: "#blankscreenupdate The act leaving #xfactor is Tamera. Luke is safe," referring to the departure of contestant Tamera Foster.
The technical glitch meant that more than a million viewers were wiped off the audience figures for the show, according to media reports.
Foster, a hot media favorite for this year's crown right up until her elimination, had herself apologized to show bosses after being at the center of a shoplifting incident just weeks after successfully auditioning for the show.
And on the same show that saw Foster's exit, last year's winner, James Arthur, apologized for "abusing his position as an X Factor winner" after becoming embroiled in controversy for using a homophobic slur in a freestyle track he recorded last month.
Viewers, meanwhile, used Twitter to complain about the loss of signal with others suggesting to watch in HD, which appeared not to be affected, or online.
The X Factor averaged eight million viewers between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., down from 9.1 million the previous Sunday.
An ITV spokesman told The Guardian that the broadcaster "apologized to viewers for the inconvenience caused."